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Metal Matrix Composite - PDF

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1. Field of the InventionThe present invention relates generally to metal matrix compositions. Such compositions or composites comprise one or more base material metals such as, for example, aluminum, titanium, or magnesium, to which is added a selected percentage ofceramic material to alter the properties of the base material metal(s) in a positive manner. Strength, hardness, and drawability are increased. Drawability facilitates fabrication of various articles of manufacture from such composite materials. Morespecifically, the present invention pertains to an improved metal matrix composite which, in a preferred embodiment, uses boron carbide as the added ceramic material. The composites result from a novel method of manufacture producing a composite whichis lighter, stronger, stiffer, and which has a higher fatigue strength than other available alloys of the base material metal, and which is also lighter, stronger, stiffer, and which has a higher fatigue strength than prior art metal matrices,composites, and particularly those metal matrix composites which are of comparable cost.2. Prior ArtIn recent years metal matrix compositions or composites have become popular materials for a variety of applications. This new family of materials has become popular because of improvements in stiffness, strength, and wear properties. Basicmetal matrix composites are made typically with aluminum, titanium, or magnesium as the base material metal. Then certain percentages of ceramics are added. Typical ceramics include boron carbide, silicon carbide, titanium diboride, titanium carbide,aluminum oxide, and silicon nitride. Most known metal matrix composites are made by introducing the ceramics into the molten metal. In large production runs of metal matrix composites, the ceramic reinforcement must be wetted by the liquid metal tofacilitate incorporation of the reinforcement into the melt. In those metal matrix composites using silicon carbide and aluminum, the sili

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